This past weekend St. Louis held its annual Great Forest Park Balloon Race in… well Forest Park. While the race itself takes place on Saturday – which isn’t so much a race as a contest to see which balloon can land closest to the Energizer Bunny balloon they’re all chasing at the start – a huge part of the event takes place Friday night. This is when the balloon glow happens.
The hot air balloons are set up in the center of some baseball diamonds near a tree-less section of the park, with stands for food and various vendors surrounding them. As the sun goes down, the illumination of the balloons being lit up is hard to ignore as you sit in traffic looking for a place to park… and you will be sitting in traffic. Trust me. The balloon glow is popular, so you should expect to see cars lining the roads in Forest Park hours before the event even begins. If you arrive just before it starts, while it’s happening, or just in time for the fireworks finale, you’ll probably be sitting in traffic. If that doesn’t seem appealing, then find a legal place to park (business owners will tow cars) and enjoy the walk. Luckily the weather this time of year is perfect for it.
With that being said this is a really great FREE event for people of all ages, especially photographers. You’re bound to have fun, and whether you’re armed with a fancy camera or a cell phone and Instagram like me, you’ll come away with some good memories and hopefully a few good photos.